How to Do a Diagonal Lift

Give your next workout a lift by learning how to use this strength training exercise to help stabilize your core.

Your core is a valuable component to exercise. To complete various exercises and compete in a wide range of sports, you use your core for basic movement.

You can train your core to resist rotational movement and forces by learning how to do the diagonal lift. According to corrective exercise and performance enhancement specialist Drew Walsh, the diagonal lift also helps athletes train lower-half stabilization and strength.

“Due to its narrow base setup, the [diagonal] lift challenges the athlete’s overall stability, while also optimizing the athlete’s ability to produce and absorb forces,” Walsh says. “This is very important to all athletic movements.”

Before beginning the exercise, find a resistance band and tie it to a sturdy pole or gym rack. Your resistance band should be tied toward the bottom of the rack.


Man Doing Diagonal Lift Exercise

Start by getting into a half-kneel position. Position your body parallel to the band, which should be tied to the pole or rack. Keep your inside knee down and your outside knee up at a 90-degree angle.

Once you’re comfortable in this position:

  • Make sure your front foot, back hip and back foot are in line.
  • Pull the resistance band to your chest, keeping both hands on the band. Space out your hands so they’re not touching each other. The hand that is closest to the rack or pole will hold the band in the middle, while the outside hand holds the end.
  • After holding the band to your chest for two seconds, use your inside hand to push the resistance band up and away from your body. As you do this, the band will track in a diagonal line, hence the name of the exercise.
  • Hold for two seconds before bringing the band back to your chest.
  • Bring the band back to your starting position and repeat.

“Keep [your] eyes on the hands throughout the entire movement while rotating through the upper back,” Walsh says.

This is an exercise you can do at the gym or at home with the right equipment. Implement the diagonal lift into your next strength training workout. After completing a full set, learn how to do the diagonal chop with these Pro Tips.